Good and Bad Days?

A tennis friend asked me, “Do you have good days and bad days on the tennis court like I do?”  Strangely, my answer was NO.  Why would that be?

Going to the Extremes

We all know players who come onto the court one day and they are A+ quality players (of course, relatively speaking to our group’s level of play); and then you see them on the court another day and you don’t recognize them because they are playing at a C or D level of play.

My answer was “No” because my swing of quality play is much narrower … I would typically vary from a B level to maybe an A- … I rarely would blow anyone off the court with my game; but nor would I rarely “stink up the court” with totally poor quality play.

In my opinion, the players with the dramatic swings in quality probably have two common characteristics: first, they go for the BIG shots; and second, they have flatter strokes.  All those players need to be is off just a little in their strokes and they are off big in their results.

For me, I tend to play the more consistent shot and hit with a fair amount of topspin, which keeps the ball in play more; and that difference would result in more level quality.

What about YOU … do you have big or small swings in your game and why?

Tennis Anyone?

In this time of tennis deprivation, there are some anecdotes to report …

  • There are still some courts that are open (usually to “residents only”); so a lucky few are still getting to play regular games – usually singles.
  • Paul Caldwell set up a net in his driveway to hit with a friend.
  • Chuck Kinyon and Rick Barletta sent me a video of their hitting with each other in a parking lot over a low hedge!
  • And me? Still just banging away on the half-ping-pong table inside my garage.

How about you?

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

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9 thoughts on “Good and Bad Days?

  1. I think we all have our good and bad days and I think alot of that is due to just how we feel on any given day. for ex. you may have any allergy bothering your eyes or you may be tired and not moving well or you may just have the wrong attitude. Maybe you did not stretch before playing. In my case i can have good and bad days but like you George, I do not think that my swing back & forth is not that great. You sure can tell however when you are having a bad day. The important thing is, how do you go about correcting it?? Give me an answer to that George.

    Dick, for advice, i would go back to the Roy Emerson cliche… “Move your feet and watch the ball.” If you just get the ball back in play, it can’t be all bad. thanks, george

  2. I never have a bad day on the tennis court!
    Even if I am not playing as well as I would like, a day on the tennis court is better than a day anywhere else.

    Doc, it’s like my favorite Mae West quote about sex: “When it’s good, it’s great. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” thanks, george

  3. It all depends on the meaning of good and bad. Days that I get out for tennis are all good days. Not being able to get out are the bad days. Winning and playing great tennis isn’t everything, but a Snoopy poster I have says it all. “It’s not whether you win or lose, until you lose”.

    Jim, right… i used to care a lot more about winning/losing when i was younger. Now, just getting out there (especially NOW) is pretty good. thanks, george

  4. In my book, any day spent playing tennis is a good day. Having been through a couple of surgeries that kept my off the court for months at a time, I really appreciate what a joy it is to play the game. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” (George Bernhard Shaw)

    Joe, another of my favorite quotes! thanks, george

  5. Certainly my doubles partners would agree I have good and bad days……………..and I would most assuredly agree with them, whether moving my feet or not. Watching that ball can make any day a great day……….but with my lack of mental capacity to concentrate………………….bad days are assured.

    Howie, see my Mae West quote above and apply it to YOUR tennis game! thanks, george

  6. George, on the topic of “Good and Bad Days” on the tennis court, I wish I could find to share with you an interview with Laver and Rosewall where they were 55 and talking about playing tennis at that age. Cannot find the article so apologies if this summary from memory is inaccurate.
    They said playing tennis at 55 has days when you feel like you have never hit it better but some days where a shot you have normally just is not working. Their advice was to not get upset and keep trying to get that shot going because it will not happen – it is not your lack of concentration, effort etc., it is just not going to work that day. It is a reality of playing senior tennis. Find an alternative shot, technique rather than try and fix the technical flaw.
    I hit some backhands with slice and some with top spin depending on many variables. Some days the top spin just does not work and I remember the legend’s advice and just do the best I can with slice rather than continue to hit poor top spin backhands.
    Again, apologies for whatever I got wrong remembering their interview.

    Winder, great advice from them — and you! thanks, george

  7. George, I definitely have some good days and some days “of playing a game of which I am not familiar “. And Emmo is right, usually from not moving my feet, or not watching the ball. Even the best have bad days – Federer lost to #175 Kokkinakis, Djokovic lost to #319 Filip and Nadal lost to #135 Darcis. Their bad days are few and far between though. Dave

    Dave, sometimes it is also a combination of the top guy having an “off day” and the “nobody” playing lights out! thanks, george

  8. George,
    Happy Easter.
    I agree with Jim, any day on the court is a great day. If I’m going to contribute something in the comments I would say even if you are playing to win (rather than the exercise or the enjoyment of the game), on the tennis court you never lose – you either win or you learn, which you can argue makes it a good day.
    Hope you are well and please say hi to Willy if you talk to him.
    Best,
    Martin Wilde

    Martin, great to hear from you! i will probably see Willy this week and will relay your greetings. thanks, george

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